If you find yourself spending more time in the air than on land, get ready to take some notes. The US News & World Report has released a new ranking of the best travel rewards program for the year, and have named Wyndham Rewards and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan as the top in their categories.
Reward programs can be notoriously difficult to deal with; the inflexible rules and fine print can easily destroy hopes of redeeming the points you’ve worked so hard to accumulate over the years. Editors of the online ranking website had compared some 28 hotel and airline loyalty programs in the United States to determine the consumers’ best options.
“”The Best Travel Rewards Programs make it easier for travelers to understand and select the right program for them. The top ranked programs offer travelers perks they care about, such as room upgrades, free checked bags and easy ways to accumulate miles and points,” said Erin Shields, travel editor at US News. True enough, many factors were considered: size and diversity of every airline or hotel network, the rate at which members can accumulate miles and redeem points and ease of utilizing the rewards.
The list has seen some surprising entries – Wyndham Rewards takes top spot for hotel loyalty programs for the first time ever. It is easy to see why – besides allowing members to redeem free nights at 7,800 hotels across their network, it’s also rolled out additional benefits such as flexible check-in and check-out options, free amenities and suite upgrades for their most loyal customers.
The best way to fly, apparently, is now with Alaskan Airlines. Its mileage plan was named the best airline rewards program, as they reward points based on number of miles flown instead of the usual dollars spent.
Here, we bring you the rest of the rankings, so your next holiday experience will be a little sweeter.
Top 5 airline loyalty rewards programs:
Top 5 hotel rewards programs:
Choice Privileges (Tie)
Marriott Rewards (Tie)